Slick Spurs Stroll Past Hammers
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 22 Nov 2015 21:32:00
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In my preview to the game at White Hart Lane, I eluded to the fact that West Ham United have had a decent record in North London in previous years and I posed the question how will Slaven Bilic fair? Well, it didn't go too well for the Croat as the Hammers fell to a 4-1 defeat.

The Irons were forced to make one change from the side that drew with Everton before the International break, as Dimitri Payet suffered a bad injury to his ankle in the home game with the Toffees, so Diafra Sakho who had returned from injury himself partnered Andy Carroll upfront as the East Londoners went for more firepower in attack.

There was a place for Raphael Speigel on the bench as Darren Randolph picked up a medial ligament injury whilst on duty with the Republic of Ireland last week, while Alex Song was also included amongst the substitutes.

Neither team were in control in the opening stages of the match as the action was end to end, but Adrian pulled off an outstanding save from Christian Eriksen on 20 minutes.

After some promising play from the visitors, Spurs went in front just three minutes after Eriksen had tested the Spaniard, when Dele Alli's shot was blocked and unfortunately the rebound fell to the player the Hammers didn't want to see it fall to and Harry Kane smashed the ball home.

Having suffered the setback, Bilic's men could have found an immediate response but Cheikou Kouyate's acrobatic effort hit the bar.

The home side were definitely in the ascendancy as just three minutes after, Jan Vertonghen's 30-yard effort went well over the top. Then just three minutes had passed before Mauricio Pochettino's side did double their advantage. The hosts were awarded a corner and Toby Alderweireld outjumped Carroll and headed the ball past Adrian.

The visitors were thankful it didn't get worse for them on 36 minutes, as Son Heung-min saw his shot saved by Adrian and then on the follow-up, Alli's effort hit the crossbar.

Two minutes later, and the scoreline could have been even more embarrassing for the Hammers but they were saved when Kane dragged his shot wide after being put through on goal.

After one minute of stoppage time was added, West Ham knew they had a mountain to climb if they were going to get anything from this game.

The home side kept the pressure going at the start of the second-half and went further ahead just five minutes in, as Kane grabbed his second goal of the afternoon when he pounced after a mixup in the Hammers' defence.

On 56 minutes, Spurs were looking for another goal but Winston Reid produced a superb block to stop Son Heung-min from getting on the scoresheet.

Not happy with what he was seeing, Bilic made a double change just after the hour mark, replacing Carroll and Victor Moses with Nikica Jelavic and Mauro Zarate.

Five minutes later, club captain Mark Noble picked up his fifth yellow card of the season after a confrontation with Alli, which means he will now miss next Sunday's home clash with West Bromwich Albion.

Reid was unfortunate not to pull a goal back on 72 minutes, when he met Zarate's corner but saw his header saved by Tottenham stopper Hugo Lloris.

Bilic made his final change on 79 minutes, as Song replaced the skipper.

Spurs finally finished the Hammers off on 84 minutes, when Kyle Walker placed the ball past Adrian with ease.

The East Londoners eventually found a goal but it was only a consolation, as Manuel Lanzini followed up his tremendous goal against Everton with another superb effort on 87 minutes, preventing the home side from capping off a great afternoon with a clean sheet.

Substitute Ryan Mason almost made it five but thankfully for the visitors his effort struck the post.

The East Londoners had to endure three minutes of stoppage time before referee Anthony Taylor blew the final whistle to end what had been a terrible afternoon.

The Irons now have a week to get this defeat out of their system before the Baggies arrive at Upton Park.

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